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HOPKINS: “I Have Little in My Favor, But I Will Win Saturday”

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BERNARD HOPKINS, WBC & Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight World Champion at media day on Tuesday

 

“Being 46 and sexy with the body of a 25-year-old?  I think that is pretty impressive.

“I can predict I will win this fight.  How I win will come out this Saturday night.

“I want the best Chad Dawson on Saturday night.

“He has to come out in character and not be the Dawson that he has been for many of his fights.  The name doesn’t match the last three or four outcomes.  When you have the name ‘Bad’ and you’re not Michael Jackson, you have to be able to own that.  They call me ‘The Executioner’ for a reason.

“I have no problem putting the title on the line.  This is what I do.

“I don’t know if Dawson is hungry.  He says he is.

 

“The past is the past and tomorrow is unknown.  On Saturday night, I want to put another page in the history book of my career.

“If I am still going to compete and be the best in the division, and part of the conversation of the best in boxing, then this fight is the next step.

“Every now and then an athlete comes along and does something different than those before him or her.  It takes guts to be different.

“I don’t go into camp needing to lose 20-30 pounds.  I don’t need to get into physical shape.  I am a health and wellness guy.  This is part of my lifestyle.  It is automatic to me to be ready to fight.  My engine is always running.

“It takes me a round or two until I know exactly what I have to do in a fight.  You can’t overstudy a test, so your natural instincts have to be your guide.  The great athletes always adjust.  I don’t care what sport it is, only an elite athlete can do that.

“You have to be strong.  It’s easy for me to look at adversity and temptation and not even have an urge.  It isn’t a struggle.  That isn’t me.  That is part of my longevity.

“The difference in this fight is that I am fighting Chad Dawson who has plenty of credentials.  He believes he is the guy to beat me.  I have to win to prove him wrong.  The problem is whether or not he means what he believes.

“I am a pretty good dancer, but if my dance partner steps on my feet, it will make me look bad.  If Dawson is ready to dance, then it will be a good fight.  It could be the ‘Fight of the Year.’

“I am knocking on the door of being the oldest ‘Fighter of the Year’ ever.  I have a chance to seal that deal this Saturday night on pay-per-view.

“I always have a motivation.  Something to push me to win and that motivation is to become the oldest ‘Fighter of the Year.’  It puts pressure on the writers, 90 percent of whom are 40 and up.  I want to put a bug in their ear that I am trying to make history on that front.

“I never operate well when I am the favorite in a fight.  I like being the underdog.  I think that is the reason a lot of people want to watch.  I am not surprised I am the underdog.

“This is a new movement in my career.  Am I the underdog because of my age or  because of my resume?  It must be my age, because I know can’t be the resume.

“I am 12-1 against southpaws, argugably 13-0 with the Calzaghe fight.  I am a right handed fighter which is death to a southpaw.

“I am fighting someone taller than me for the first time in almost 10 years.

“I might have little in my favor, but I will win on Saturday night.”

OSCAR DE LA HOYA, President of Golden Boy Promotions

“As every fight goes by, I think Hopkins gets better and better and is demonstrating to everyone that he is going to be around a long time.

“Bernard Hopkins has faced them all.  He has fought every style, every adversity.  Everything they put in front of him, he leaps over.  He is our bionic man.

“You have to look up to Hopkins and what he is doing at his age.

“The beauty about Hopkins is that fighters usually have one, maybe two styles.  He has a plan C, D and E.

“Hopkins is able to adapt to any style.  He is a chameleon in the ring and that is dangerous for any opponent.

“It doesn’t surprise me that Hopkins wants to fight the best.  He is the best that I faced in my career.”

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“Believe It Or Not!: Hopkins vs. Dawson” is a 12-round bout for Hopkins’ WBC and Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight World Championship Titles taking place on Saturday, Oct. 15 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif. and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.  The event is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, AT&T and Ripley’s Believe It or Not.  In addition to this championship main event showdown, the televised pay-per-view undercard will also feature Antonio DeMarco vs. Jorge Linares in a 12-round fight for the vacant WBC Lightweight World Title, Kendall Holt vs. Danny Garcia in 12-round bout for the vacant NABO Junior Welterweight Title and Paulie Malignaggi vs. Orlando Lora in a 10-round welterweight bout.  DeMarco vs. Linares is presented in association with Teiken Promotions.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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